Are you experiencing nausea or vomiting in your pregnancy?
You are not alone! About 75% of pregnant women report experiencing some nausea and vomiting during pregnancy – especially in the early weeks.
Many women find that the morning hours are when their nausea and vomiting are the most problematic, but most report feeling queasy at all hours of the day or night.
The good news is that for the vast majority of women, these symptoms go away in the second trimester – typically by week 16 or 17.
Below are some non-pharmacological (over-the-counter) tips that may ease nausea and vomiting and some general guidelines for when it is time to call the doctor. (As always, follow your doctor’s specific instructions.)
- Ginger. Ginger is a natural way to manage nausea and vomiting. There are many forms of ginger – chewable “gummies,” hard candy, and natural ginger root. You can add thinly sliced ginger root to any non-alcoholic beverage you enjoy (tea, water, smoothies, etc.). (Note: ginger ale is NOT typically made with real ginger anymore. Check the label. If ginger is not listed, it will not help with your nausea.)
- Snack throughout the day. Small “grazing” meals through the day and evening is better than 3 meals a day. Keeping a little something in your stomach and not over-filling your stomach will help.
- Protein. Make sure you are eating snacks with protein in them (peanut butter, nuts, meat, cheese, greek yogurt, etc.).
- Triggers. Try to identify and avoid things that cause nausea and vomiting such as strong odors, stuffy or smoke-filled rooms, being over-heated, etc.
- Pre-natal vitamins. Try taking them with food and later in the day or evening to avoid increased nausea.
- Hydration. It is very important to keep from becoming dehydrated. Dehydration can increase your nausea! Try sipping your favorite beverage throughout the day and evening.
- Smoke and smoking. Smoke and smoking can increase nausea and vomiting. If you’re a smoker, quitting is always recommended. But every bit that you can decrease is helpful, so try to cut down as much as possible. Avoid being around others while they are smoking as well. (Do not use marijuana for pregnancy-related nausea and vomiting! Research indicates this can harm your baby.)
When to Call the Doctor About Nausea and Vomiting:
- Uncontrollable vomiting. If you have been vomiting for more than 24 hours and not able to keep anything down, you should call your doctor. Your doctor will evaluate you for any potential complications of excessive vomiting (dehydration, electrolyte imbalances, etc.). Sometimes medications and/or intra-venous fluids are necessary, but your doctor will determine what the best course of action is for you.
- Infrequent urination. Normally, you should be urinating about 6 times per day or more and your urine should be light yellow. If you notice a decrease in urination or you notice that your urine is becoming dark or has a strong odor, you should try to drink more fluids. If you are unable to do this, you should call your doctor to discuss.
- Light-headedness, dizziness, fainting, etc. These can be caused by a number of factors, including dehydration. Call your doctor immediately if you experience any of these symptoms.
- Weight loss. Losing a couple of pounds during early pregnancy is very common. But too much weight loss can indicate a problem. Call your doctor if your nausea and vomiting is resulting in weight loss of more than a couple of pounds.
- Inability to do normal activities of daily living. If nausea and vomiting are interrupting your life in such a way that you are unable to do your normal things, you should call your doctor so this can be evaluated.